A wildfire burning near Clearlake, California earlier this month. Josh Edelson / AP

Wildfires have already scorched 117,960 acres of land across the state.

This story was originally published by Mother Jones and is reproduced here as part of the Climate Desk collaboration.

On August 17, 2013—two years ago yesterday—a deer hunter near California's Yosemite National Park ignored a campfire ban and burned trash from his dinner. The embers blew into dry brush, starting the third worst wildfire in the state's history. All told, the Rim Fire, as it came to be called, burned 257,314 acres in and around Yosemite.

No wildfires of that scale have occurred since, but, thanks to drought and climate change, California is far from out of the woods. In fact, in 2015, 4,382 wildfires have already scorched a total of 117,960 acres, more than double the 5 year average for this time of year. Firefighters have finally controlled the largest two fires, in Northern California's Jerusalem Valley, but not before the blazes razed nearly 100,000 acres.

The map below, made by California's wildfire fighting agency Cal Fire, gives a sense of where these fires are occurring. To read more details about each fire and how much of it is contained today, click on the map's fire icons or see Cal Fire's ongoing reports here.

And California isn't even the state with the most acres burning right now. A blaze in Idaho has consumed over 200,000 acres so far. In Alaska, wildfires have burned over 5 million acres this year. You can see where wildfires are occurring nationwide in this map from the research organization Climate Central.

About the Author

Most Popular

  1. A crowded street outside in Boston
    Life

    Surveillance Cameras Debunk the Bystander Effect

    A new study uses camera footage to track the frequency of bystander intervention in heated incidents in Amsterdam; Cape Town; and Lancaster, England.                            

  2. Perspective

    Hurricane Barry: Lessons From a Disaster That Wasn’t

    Hurricane Barry largely spared New Orleans, but it underscored that climate change brings complex impacts and hard choices.

  3. A man stands next to an electric scooter
    Transportation

    Why Electric Scooters Companies Are Getting Serious About Safety

    Lime has joined rival Bird in establishing a safety advisory board tasked with helping the e-scooter industry shape local regulations—and shake its risky reputation.

  4. People wait in line, holding tote bags in the sunshine, outside a job fair.
    Equity

    How 3 Skill Sets Explain U.S. Economic Geography

    Metro areas in the U.S. with higher cognitive and people skills, versus motor skills, perform better economically and are more resilient during downturns.

  5. Little kids under a blanket.
    Perspective

    How U.S. Child Care Is Segregated: a Brooklyn Story

    At a daycare in a gentrifying Brooklyn area, is the entrance of racially diverse, middle-class families income integration, or more akin to colonization?

×